Thursday, June 26, 2008
(above: Steve Strange of Visage)
My office at work happens to share space with our company's training area. Yesterday a training was in progress, so I decided to fire up my iPod to try and drown out the noise. While I have been spending a lot of time listening to a rather fabulous iMix I recently put together, I opted instead to listen to Visage.
To offer a brief history, Visage was formed in 1978 by Steve Strange and Midge Ure of Ultravox fame. They were among a group of English bands such as Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran that pioneered the New Romantic movement of the early '80s. Central to the culture surrounding the New Romantics was the blending of fashion - often in exaggerated forms, and visual artistry. Male new romantics often wore androgynous clothing, cosmetics and flamboyant hairdos. They were also unique in that their music was primarily driven by electronic keyboards, synthesizers and computers: not guitars. As such, the music that emerged from the New Romantics tended to have a different mood, feel, tone, and visual appeal than their rock music counterparts.
While I have been a fan of Visage's pioneering efforts in music for some time, my record collection was strangely void of any of their albums. That changed in 2006 when I was in England with my partner. I spend many a day touring London record shops, and to my delight, I was able to find a number of discs that are rarely found here in the States: at least not without a hefty import markup price attached to them.
One of those discs I stumbled upon was the Visage compilation album 'Damned Don't Cry'. I bought it mostly for the song 'Fade to Grey', a classic example of New Romanticism. Today, however, I would like to share with you Visage's eponymous track released on their eponymous album.